Fairhead Murlough View Walk
Enjoy breath-taking views from the cliff edge of Fairhead on this ruggedly beautiful, wild and remote walk. Expect stunning coastal views towards Ballycastle and Rathlin Island and look down on the picturesque Murlough Bay. You’ll also pass historic loughs and open green farmland on one of the many walk options which are guaranteed to invigorate the senses.
Distance 2.5 miles
OS Map Sheet 5
Terrain Uneven grasses, bog, farm track
Nearest Town Ballycastle
Route Shape Circular
Grid Reference D175426
Route Type Coastal
The most strenuous of the walks with some very steep sections walkers are rewarded with stunning cliff top views including beautiful vistas overlooking Murlough Bay. Once you reach the large ‘A’ frame stile at the end of the walk there is the option to continue along the public right of way to the picnic area and carpark on Murlough Rd (total route distance 2.9 miles). Please note this section is not waymarked. Alternatively you can retrace your steps to rejoin the blue loop (total route distance 4.2 miles) and follow this via farm tracks and open land passing the hamlet of Coolanlough back to your starting point. This walk passes through stretches of rocky and heather clad ground.
Please be aware that sections of this walk are situated near a cliff edge and due care must be taken particularly during windy conditions and in poor visibility. Weather conditions along the coast can change very quickly – so be prepared. Although the walk is waymarked it is advised that you equip yourself with a map. The walking route passes through areas of open land and working farmland. Livestock may be present and ground conditions are often uneven, wet and mucky underfoot and as such walking boots are strongly recommended.
The iconic cliffs of Fairhead or Benmore tower above the famous Sea of Moyle where mythology states the Children of Lir, were put under an evil spell transforming them into swans to spend 900 years in exile from humanity. The great cliffs of Fairhead are composed of a rock called dolerite. This igneous rock was born out of volcanic activity some 60 million years ago. The upper half of the cliff is formed of gigantic columns which are up to 12 metres in diameter, some of which are separated from the rest of the cliff but still stand, despite their precarious nature.
This walk begins at the farm car park (£3 per car) clearly signposted off the Fairhead Rd. The trailhead panel in the car park will offer you a number of route choices with loops from 1.5 – 3.4 miles. Be sure to take time to read the hidden interpretation information at each waymarker pointing out important sites of historic and geological interest along the way.
Views over Murlough Bay and towards Rathlin
From Ballycastle, follow the A2, turning left at the junction onto Torr Rd, turn left again onto Fairhead Rd. The sign for Fairhead Car Park is clearly signed along this road on the left directing you to the access road to the farm where the car park is situated. Parking is £3.
Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk
Dogs are not allowed. Please be aware of the presence of working farm dogs on the blue and turquoise routes.
Numerous toilet facilities, cafés and shops are situated in Ballycastle 5 miles away.
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Fairhead Murlough View Walk
Walked the route in a cool clear day and was rewarded with stunning views; Back towards Ballycastle, Rathlin island and Scotland. The terrain was dry, not much wind. Butterflies, bees and birds were plentiful. The purple heather against the green rocky backdrop was stunning. Plenty of spots to stop for lunch and overlook the coastline the signage of blue and yellow markers are very visible and helpful albeit we did have backup map in our pack.
There was an added bonus of a coffee hut and two exceptionally friendly servers at the car park/ farmhouse. This is a seasonal offering so wouldn’t expect it to be open much in the autumn / winter seasons.
3 hours and 3 miles; this really calls out how picturesque the area is, how many photos we took and how much we enjoyed our day.
well worth the 3 pound parking fee need good boots and coat very windy even on a good day parts of top are close to a big drop so not suitable for kids or teenagers steep in places but well worth the visit beautiful view of rathlin , sea of moyle and scotland
strictly no dogs as working farm
all told though great walk